By Saira Bano:
During the seventh round of the U.S.-Pakistan Security, Strategic Stability, and Nonproliferation (SSS&NP) working group earlier this month, Pakistan again demanded an India-style civil nuclear agreement under the auspices of the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue. As previously, the idea received a noncommittal response from Washington.
Islamabad has been critical of the India-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement, signed in 2008, under which nuclear sanctions against New Delhi were lifted and India was allowed to have civilian nuclear trade along with its nuclear weapons program. The Indo-U.S. nuclear deal recognized the nuclear status of India, while continuing to exclude Pakistan from the nuclear club. U.S. officials argued that India’s case was unique and Pakistan does not qualify for similar treatment. The questions arise: What were the factors that pushed the United States to work so hard to lift nuclear sanctions, both at the domestic and international levels, against India and what lessons Pakistan should learn to qualify for the same consideration?
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Photo credit: Shahzeb Younas via flickr